Last week, I wrote about the risks presumptive-U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s one-state vision poses for a sustainable American policy on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Yet, amid the fallout over Tlaib’s controversial stance, it can become easy to forget that the foundations for a single state outcome are already being laid in Israel. And in the case of Israel, one state is not the domain of idealistic progressives but the dangerous project of right-wing demagogues for whom democracy is a secondary, even tertiary priority.

Ha’aretz published a feature over the weekend outlining several Israeli officials’ and pundits’ plans to annex the West Bank (and, in one case, Gaza too) and formalize a one-state reality. As David Halperin noted on Twitter, the figures cited in the article “have the influence, power, and ideas to advance that disastrous outcome.” A one-state program may be gaining traction with the American left, but in Israel a single state is already popular among most of the sitting government coalition.

Each of the plans outlined in the Ha’aretz article differ to some extent, but they share a number of common failings, namely their incompatibility with any reasonable definition of democracy. Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, for instance, suggests granting citizenship to Area C Palestinians while leaving the remaining two million plus in a situation of “autonomy on steroids” in 40 percent of the West Bank. Autonomy is not a foreign concept in multiethnic democracies, and numerous minorities in Europe enjoy special local institutions which help preserve their culture and act as a stopgap against majoritarian abuses. But Catalans, Bretons, and Northern Irish are all still citizens of Spain, France, and the United Kingdom respectively. They vote in national elections and can sit in government, and yet, even in these places, there are strong undercurrents of separatism.

Under Bennett’s program, millions of Palestinians would simply be stateless subjects under Israeli control with some vague degree of autonomy. Their rights would be dependent on the whims of the Israeli government. It is difficult to imagine this as anything more than a formalization of the status quo (perhaps with the Palestinian Authority replaced by an analogous but more complacent institution), and the motivations bears much in common with the system of South African bantustans. In the 1950s, the South African apartheid regime officially allocated small territories to “black homelands,” or bantustans, nominally independent areas under Pretoria’s de facto sovereignty. The white-minority government sought international recognition for these puppet states. It is likely Bennett and other Israeli leaders would also expect legitimacy for their arrangement, and as with the white South Africans, it is likely they will not succeed.

To contrast with Bennett, far-right Jerusalem Post and Breitbart columnist Caroline Glick does recommend citizenship for Palestinians across the entire West Bank. But a closer reading of her plan reveals that it is equally undemocratic. Rather than immediately grant citizenship to people who have lived under Israeli administration for over half a century, Glick suggests an application process and notes that not every West Bank resident “will meet the criteria for citizenship.” This means an onerous political litmus test to square the demographic circle. Given Glick’s hardline views, it would be hard to see many Palestinians Israelis, let alone Palestinians from the occupied territories, passing such an exam.

Then there is the disconnect from reality. Annexation plans tend to rest on the tenuous premise that Palestinian population statistics are simply incorrect. This is the crux of Caroline Glick’s book, The Israeli Solution. To promote his autonomy scheme, Bennett posits that there are only 80-90,000 Palestinians in Area C, even though most estimates place the number of people between 300-400,000. A number of politicians and commentators rely on the research of Yoram Ettinger, a retired Israeli diplomat, and not, as Ha’aretz shrewdly observes, a professional demographer. While groupthink is always a risk in policy circles, it is curious why a small clique pushing a specific agenda leans on a set of statistics that runs contrary to the position of everyone from the American CIA to the Israeli security services. No doubt, a smaller Palestinian population would make annexation palatable to sections of the Israeli electorate who might otherwise eschew one state. As for why Israelis haven’t formally absorbed the West Bank, Caroline Glick’s book leaves us with the paranoid suggestion that her ideas lack currency because of the ubiquity of “leftist media” in Israel. It’s not that these are bad ideas; everyone else is just wrong according to this worldview.

The one-staters aren’t just in their own world on demography; they substitute the beliefs of real Palestinians for their own readings of West Bank Arab society. Professor Mordechai Kedar is particularly guilty of this. His pet-project is an “emirates plan,” by which each of the major Palestinian municipalities in the West Bank are independent city-states (with the rest of the West Bank annexed to Israel). Kedar rests his case on the idea that Arab state national identities are wholly artificial and that family and local allegiances are more potent forces among Palestinians than nationalism. Indeed, the legacy of colonial borders in the Middle East is complicated and ethnic conflict is a real issue in the region, but sectarian divides can also be overplayed to simplify regional issues for Western observers. Israeli Jewish society has many localized cleavages too, but no one would seriously propose separate states for Russian-speaking Jews, the ultra-Orthodox, Mizrahim, and secular Ashkenazi leftists.

Kedar’s plan would have to be imposed top-down on a Palestinian public that is simply not talking about a city-state proposal. The most contentious scenes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such as home demolitions and terror attacks, frequently play out in the very territory Kedar, Bennett and others want to absorb (Area C), not the cities of Areas A, already under some degree of Palestinian control. A recent poll from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that the two-state solution still commands an overwhelming plurality of support (43 percent) among Palestinians and Israelis (also 43 percent). No other solution comes close. While the two-state vision is slowly bleeding political cachet, percentage of support has tended to hover in the forties and low fifties for many years. Among Palestinians, support for one democratic state (an overly idealistic but not inherently malicious proposal) has also fallen since a January PCPSR poll, with Israeli backing for an apartheid scenario has risen. Any talk of an “emirates plan,” however creative, is notably absent from Israeli and Palestinian public discourse.

Israeli businessman Martin Sherman, whose population transfer (read: expulsion) plan is featured in the Ha’aretz piece, deserves credit for not attempting to whitewash his contempt for Palestinian rights. Bennett, Glick, Kedar, and the others are hardly better than Sherman, but they still want domestic and foreign audiences to believe they are democrats. It is probably why the other programs are so obviously flawed. They are simply covers for an expansionist agenda conceived which prioritizes ideology over more immediate imperatives. Amid this anti-democratic political theater, one-state proponents fail to outline detailed security arrangements for Israelis and Palestinians and all are particularly imaginative about the consequences for Israel’s foreign relations. Ultimately, no amount of verbal gymnastics can conceal the disaster the annexationists are brewing in Israel. They owe it to their constituents in Israel and their allies abroad to be forthright about their intentions.